Heterogeneous Catalysis - Zeolites - Refinery Catalysis
In the refinery, heavy oil fractions are converted into clean fuels like gasoline and diesel, as well as petrochemical raw materials. The large oil molecules have to be cut up into smaller molecules, and impurities have to be removed. The image shows a typical large oil molecule. Carbon and Hydrogen are colored dark gray and white, respectively. The impurities are sulfur (yellow), nitrogen (blue) and oxygen (red). Cutting up of the large molecule is done in a cracking process (Fluid Catalytic Cracking), the impurities are removed by Hydroprocessing. Both processes use catalysts to improve the efficiency. The focus of my research is to improve these processes and catalysts.